The biggest complaint I hear when I talk to people about food is they don’t know the best way to feed themselves or their families. Sometimes, it’s “I have all this food in my pantry and don’t know what to cook with it.” I’ve also heard, “After a long day, the last thing I want to do is spend time in the kitchen.” From those who hate grocery shopping, “I hate grocery shopping. I never know what I’m going to want to eat so I buy different things that spoil before I get to eat them. It’s such a pain.” I totally understand all of these feelings. While I like finding new recipes and eating them, grocery shopping is my least favorite part. AND I DON’T EVEN HAVE ANY PICKY EATERS IN MY HOUSEHOLD (YET)!
So today, I hope to inspire you and your grocery list. These techniques help me save time and money by not eating out every time we are in a hurry or don’t feel like cooking. (Sorry if I’m preaching, but that is not a good habit to get into for a BAJILLION of reasons- mainly your diet and budget.)
The key to planning your grocery shopping is to think about what your favorite meals are. Day in and day out, what do you eat the most of? For my Husband and I, we eat mainly Italian, Greek, Mexican and PEANUT BUTTER. (My Husband thinks PB is a food group.) Almost every week we have either pizza or spaghetti. Although that might surprise you or sound boring, I really look forward to a meal that I don’t have to stress over how it’s going to turn out. We eat Greek and Mexican frequently because I like cooking with rosemary and cilantro. Take a look at how these influences show up in our household..
My Go-To Meals:
Salads– Every week I buy 2 packages of honey goat cheese or Feta at ALDI (because it is so CHEAP there) and 2-3 heads of (red leaf or romaine) lettuce. I top it off with a variation of some pecans, granola, and a fruit if in season.
If I am in the mood for a Greek salad and chicken gyros, I use this salad recipe.
Sandwiches– I rotate out roast beef and provolone melts, blackerry fontina cheese sandwiches, and Jeff Mauro’s roasted cauliflower melt
Spaghetti or pizza
Sweet Potatoes– I roast the potatoes and 1 red bell pepper for 45 minutes at 415 degrees and top with goat cheese and red peppers. You can also adorn it with the toppings of a regular potato.
Sides and Snacks I always have on-hand:
Black beans and Rotel tomatoes
Hummus and carrots (I also share carrots with our dog, Pogo since they are nutritious for dogs as well.)
Quinoa and Couscous
Apples and Peanut Butter
Celery and Peanut Butter
Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
Since the best way to save money at the grocery store is to plan ahead, make a menu with the staples you buy every week and save it so you have a copy each week. It will help you save money in the long run if you stick to the items on your list. In addition, I highly recommend planning 4-5 dinners each week. Ask your family members if they would like to see certain meals on the menu this week. (If you are a party of one, you lucky dog, you! You don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone else with your menu choices.) Once you have figured out what you want to make, add the ingredients you need from those recipes to your list of staple menu items. Once you get good at this menu building process, it should take you only 30 minutes to plan your menu. With the birth of Pinterest, there is no excuse for boredom in the kitchen. 🙂
Does this help you better plan for your trip to the grocery store? What are your families’ favorite go-to foods?